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Sanford planning breast cancer facility in Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Dakotas-based Sanford Health is planning a multimillion-dollar breast cancer facility in Sioux Falls.

Officials will break ground next year for the construction project that will cost $25 million to $30 million, according to health system CEO Nate White. The project at Sanford's midtown Sioux Falls campus will consolidate the system's breast health initiative under one roof, the Argus Leader reported ( ).

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A new building was part of a 2011 announcement in which philanthropist T. Denny Sanford pledged to give the health system bearing his name $100 million to find a cure for breast cancer. His mother, Edith, died of the disease. That announcement also included a plan to expand the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo, N.D., by 2017.

Sanford, based in Sioux Falls and Fargo, bills itself as the nation's largest not-for-profit rural health care provider.

Sanford has targeted breast cancer for several years and recently added genetic research as a central element in its strategy. Sanford, like its chief competitor Avera, has a biobank to collect tissue from patients as a step toward using patients' DNA to personalize care. Finding the best way to meld treatment with the expanding possibilities from research has been a priority in putting the project together, White said.

"We're really rethinking genetics and what role that plays," he said. "Where is the world of cancer going?"